I started running in January this year to improve my general fitness and wellbeing. I am currently running 5k’s regularly with the aim to run the Simplyhealth Great South 10 mile in October!
About this time each year I always kick myself as I usually haven’t lost the weight I wanted to lose or seen the old friend that I promised to catch up with and so on. We can all make New Year’s resolutions but the real difficulty is not having enough time to fit anything else in our busy weeks.
So when I booked on the Simplyhealth Great South Run in January, I had no real concept of how I was going to achieve my goal, but I just knew I wanted to do it and this seemed like a really great challenge to set myself.
Keeping to a reasonably regular training schedule played a key part in getting me there and, come the day, my Simplyhealth Great South Run was an amazing experience. The crowds were buzzing, my work friends and I all lined up at the start line in our gorgeous mint green tee shirts, all challenged and eager to get going. My family watching from the side-lines after months of hearing me moaning and seeing my sweaty self crash through the door after training runs.
The 10 miles kind of looked like this;
0 – 3 miles: Mega-stitch from starting off too quickly. Enjoyed the buzz of the crowds and felt a huge sense of pride running with 20k other people, including the inspirational Clare Lomas.
3 – 7 miles: I found my stride and was buzzing when I saw my family cheering me on and shouting that I had made over £600 in donations for my charity.
7 – 10 miles: This was a mix of pain, pride and passion to finish as I found two lovely running buddies to talk and pace with, crossing that finish line hand in hand. I made it!!
Now the dust has settled on my marathon year I have learnt three things:
— 1. Be your own version of healthy and active. Running isn’t for everyone, but if you can, it really is a great way to get active. Starting slow and keeping consistent training is the best way to build up to 3, 5 and 10k’s!
2. Set small achievable goals. This really helps to digest a really big challenge. When I first decided to test myself, I immediately signed up for a 10 mile race. Signing up to other small races throughout the year really helped me keep focused.
3. You are not always going to have amazing runs or workouts, and that’s okay. For me, the majority of my training runs were difficult. Some of the conditions that were in and out of my control varied, and it made it difficult for me to become consistent. I then realised that this was all part and parcel of becoming a runner, and that actually I got more satisfaction out of the runs when I felt tired, it was raining or I was cold, as after I really felt like I had pushed and challenged myself.
Since the Simplyhealth Great South Run I have kept the momentum going with a couple of short runs but, with the darker, colder nights and the lead up to Christmas, I want to make sure I keep myself in the game. You see I’m now planning on completing a half marathon next year in the Simplyhealth Great Run Series….. slow and smiley all the way!!
“Everyone can be a runner….” – Jamie Jones, an accomplished runner and work colleague.
Yeah, right! Well, I suppose he has a point. I can technically run but it’s far from fast, smooth or graceful. I tend to waddle along, moaning about how everything hurts and wishing I never signed up for this.